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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Royal Commission for AlUla begins its archaeology season with 12 research conservation missions
RIYADH: The Royal Commission for AlUla began its 2023 archaeology season with 12 conservation missions marking the commencement of an intensive period of exploration and discovery.
The archaeological missions will run until December 2023.
The work will continue with additional archaeological missions planned in the winter and the spring of 2024.
Dr Abdulrahman Alsuhaibani, RCU’s executive director of archaeology, conservation and collections said: “Archaeology season in AlUla serves as a platform to showcase the region’s remarkable cultural heritage. We not only celebrate the work of these teams, but also the immense value of the ongoing excavations, research, and conservation projects to Saudi Arabia and the world.”
The 12 teams have gathered in AlUla to study the region’s past, including prehistory, the ancient kingdoms of Dadan, Lihyan and the Nabataeans, and the pre-Islamic and Islamic eras.
The fall 2023 archaeology season in AlUla boasts more than 200 archaeologists and cultural heritage specialists, with experts from Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, the UK, and the US.
“The diverse range of expertise and interdisciplinary collaboration ensures a comprehensive exploration of AlUla’s historical significance,” said Alsuhaibani.
Many of the projects are a continuation of ongoing research, which has involved the training and mentoring of more than 100 archaeology students from Saudi Arabia.
Another research project will focus on excavations of various funerary, ritual, and settlement sites of the prehistoric period in AlUla and Khaybar.
There will also be multidisciplinary studies of bio-archaeology, paleobotany, archaeoastronomy, and other non-traditional subjects to provide a deeper understanding of the people who inhabited the region.
Research topics range from the multidisciplinary excavation and survey of ancient Dadan to the geophysical survey and excavation of the early Islamic city of Qurh, south of AlUla.
A statement the RCU said it is committed to conserving AlUla’s cultural heritage and sharing its historical significance with the rest of the world.
This encompasses a broad range of initiatives across archaeology, tourism, culture, education and the arts, reflecting a commitment to meeting the economic diversification, local community empowerment, and heritage preservation priorities of Saudi Vision 2030.
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